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Workplace safety campaign by WorkSafe

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A workplace safety campaign comes to Dandenong and Keysborough this month. The Safer Work Zones campaign focuses attention on safety by concentrating on a particular area and targeting smaller companies which traditionally have limited exposure to WorkSafe inspectors.

The two-pronged campaign provides employers with information about how to make their workplaces safe - before WorkSafe Inspectors follow-up with workplace inspections in March.

Information packs outlining the safety campaign will be distributed to businesses in the area bounded by Olive Grove, Chandler Road, Dandenong Street and Greaves Reserve on 28 February.

The information packs will be delivered by staff driving around the area in visible vehicles promoting Safer Work Zones and towing a helping businesses work in the safe zone trailer.

Visits by WorkSafe inspectors will run from 26-30 March.

Between July 2001 and June 2006, there were 6709 workplace injury claims reported from workplaces in Dandenong and Keysborough.

According to WorkSafe, Safer Work Zones concentrated on risks known to cause serious injuries and death and achieved improvements in a short period across a broad range of businesses and worksites.

Giving people plenty of notice and an idea of what the inspectors would look at, helps employers and employees meet their health and safety obligations.

People want to do the right thing, but they do not always know what to do.

WorkSafe’s role is to help people understand what is expected of them and how they can protect their employees, co-workers, customers and their business.

Small and medium sized business can also apply for a WorkSafe-funded, free, three-hour safety audit which is carried out by an independent consultant.

Improvement or prohibition notices could be issued during the inspections.

Improvement notices require work to be carried out within an agreed period. A prohibition notice means a work practice cannot continue or a machine be used until the immediate risk to injury or health is remedied.

According to Worksafe, by giving local businesses prior warning about this campaign, it hopes that issuing of notices will not be necessary.

WorkSafe will enforce the law when required, must be enforced, that will be done, but its preference is to encourage prevention rather than cure.

WorkSafe will be looking at:

  • The hazards in the workplace.
  • The process by which the employer and employees consult on health and safety issues.
  • Keeping the workplace neat and tidy and clear of obstructions.
  • Steps to reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls.
  • Wearing of suitable footwear. Steps should be well lit.
  • Physical barriers and guards which isolate people from mobile plant and machinery.
  • Controlling risks of falls from height.
  • Separating pedestrians from forklift traffic or trucks.
  • Preventing manual handling injuries. e.g. making trolleys and other mechanical aids available.
  • Controlling risks of falls from height.
  • Safe evacuation of Workplace in the event of an emergency.
  • Appropriate use and storage of chemicals.
  • Checking if storage racks are suitable for the items held.
  • Certificate of competency for Forklift drivers
  • Tagging and testing of electrical equipment.
  • Making fire suppression measures adequate.
  • Refreshment and toilet facilities.
  • Supporting the injured worker’s early and sustainable return to work.
  • Display of the If you are injured poster.

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